“I got sent down for GBH and it’s something I’m really not proud of”. Heavyweight Louis ‘Razor’ Robinson was described at his trial as a “Gentle Giant” who “made a 50 second mistake”.
After three years behind bars he is now a free man and he has taken time out to talk to me about his life, and the redemption he is finding in the sport of boxing.
“I started boxing as a kid” Louis reminisced about his start in the sport. “I used to go down the gym with my dad and train but it was one of those things you do as a kid and then lose interest and then go back again for a few months and then lose interest. It wasn’t till I was then around 19-20 I started it back up again properly and had a few unlicensed fights and realised I am half good at this and took it from there”
The 6”6, power punching Robison began to stand out on the unlicensed circuit.
“There were some ex pro’s in there as well which was good, don’t get me wrong some of the unlicensed fighters couldn’t box eggs but there are some really good lads in there as well!”
We spoke about the difficulties that some who come from that world face when adapting to the professional side of the game.
“There are a few good lads who have turned over from the unlicensed scene who never had an amateur background and gone on to do well, look at my good pal Luke Blackledge for a start; went on to win the Commonwealth title and challenged Callum Smith for the British as well, there is quite a few more lads who are doing well from that side as well!”
Razor with his Hero, Sugar Ray Leonard
“If the talent is there it’s there, whether you are having amateur fights or unlicensed fights: as long as you are in the gym training and pushing yourself and learning for me that’s all you can do and see how it goes from there!”
As Louis began to go by ‘Razor’ in the ring the big managers came calling looking for the next big heavyweight star. Asif Vali, former manager to Amir Khan, was fresh off helping Tyson Fury win the world title from Wladimr Klitschko in Düsseldorf when he approached ‘Razor’.
“In 2016 Asif Vali and I had a chat about turning pro which I did then I moved up to Bolton to benefit myself for training and sparring purposes. The plan was to fight for the British title within 18 months! And myself and Asif truly believed we would have achieved that”
It was not to be though. An incident outside of a bar changed the course of Robinson’s life completely.
“Right when I due to make my pro debut I got sent to jail in the august of 2017. I got sent down for GBH, I’m not proud of that. Unfortunately it is what it is but for me it’s in the past now. I’ve paid my dues and served my time and done 3 years in a jail cell for what I did.”
Worcester Crown Court where Louis was sentenced
Louis pondered the effect this time has had on his life and his boxing. “I think jail, as mad as this might sound, has helped me a lot. It’s made me more hungry to succeed in this sport. It's made me appreciate my life and family a hell of a lot more. I think about circumstances and situations a lot more too.”
“It has humbled me and with boxing comes discipline and focus and most importantly a goal, without that what have I got?”
I asked Louis about this goal; “For me winning the British title was where I set my goal....anything beyond would be a massive bonus, I still truly believe if I can get in the right camp now and get some top class sparring in, which I have actually got lined up, and be strict and commit myself 100% to the sport again, I truly can achieve this. You get out what you put in and I’m willing to put my all and more in!”
Louis has found motivation helping out with the local Youth Classes
“Being locked in a cell for three years has made me taste life at the bottom and that is something I never want to experience again. I am more hungry now than ever and I will give it my all to taste life at the top”
Motivation is one thing, execution is another. I asked Louis what practical measures he’s taking to make sure he can fulfill his ambitions.
“I am training at gym in my home town at the moment just ticking over nicely but I am looking at relocating either back to Bolton or if not will be Manchester, I had a meeting a couple of Saturdays ago with Asif and we went through everything and what trainers we could link up with etc so we will go from there.”
“We have just got to get the license finalised now and then I am hoping to fight early 2021 as with this new lockdown and the lack of shows has changed the plan to get out and be active this year but it’s no problem, only a couple of months till 2021 anyway so as long as I make sure I am in the best possible shape and fitness is good I shall be good to go!”
“I've got some good sparring coming up with some well known heavyweights which will be good for me because it will show where I am at again and show my fitness levels, obviously the more sparring the better which is why I need to get into a camp.”
Since his release Louis has posted a series of clips of him moving and training, I asked about his style and what sets him apart from the pack.
“You can see from my style I am light on my feet and move like a 5ft6 welterweight not a 6ft6 heavyweight, this is what will set me apart from the others!”
“Boxing them, being in and out and sharp, using my interesting style at that weight to frustrate them and then pick them apart, there are not many heavyweights out there as light on their feet or as fast with their hands as me and I truly believe with this style I can make some noise”
“We saw it last week with Usyk being light on his feet being in and out can work at heavyweight! Now I am not comparing myself to Usyk but he’s shown a boxing style that can work. Don’t get me wrong it’s heavyweight boxing, I could come up against someone who could land that big over hand right and put me to kip!”
“That said I won’t get outboxed by any of these heavyweights at domestic level right now, There is not one of them who I don’t think I couldn’t outbox. Now I’m not one to sit here and slate people and call people out so I will let my boxing do the talking as soon as I make my pro debut and then people can see what the fuss is about and this exciting, fast style people talk about”
With his confidence at an all time high I asked Razor what freedom was like. How it felt to be able to pursue what is evidently a lifelong passion for boxing once again.
“It feels so good to be free honestly, 3 years locked away is not something that is a nice experience to be honest, being told when you can eat, when you can use the phone and when you can shower etc. You miss family, loved ones and even just being able to go to a shop, just being able to hit the heavy bag.”
“Prison is a very frustrating place, it has been an eye opener for me though and made me appreciate the little things in life, even just going for a nice walk up the hills now means so much as it literally does make you feel free”
“It truly has humbled me and I suppose everything in life is an experience right? That was my biggest one yet and it’s made me tougher and my skin thicker and I think it will help me with my boxing to achieve what I set out to achieve.”
“Time to show people what the people in the gym see now and start making some noise, it’s time to repay those who have been there for me and supported me through everything and that pushes me in itself and motivates me!”
In his freedom Louis has found solace in the hills. The wide open spaces and fresh air he was denied for what must have felt like an eternity, the fresh air refuelling his life’s ambition, Boxing.
Interview by Ewan Breeze for SimBoxx